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2018 Session Descriptions

The Challenges and Rewards of Grantmaking Relationships

Developing a shared vision, language, and understanding of process are important to building relationships between funders and the organizations they support. But power dynamics, competing responsibilities, and a lack of transparency spell trouble for collaboration. In this session, Vuysiwa Sidzumo and E. J. Jacobs set the stage for an interactive exercise designed to help participants share the challenges and rewards of their work, and learn from the experiences of others. Vuyiswa discusses her experience as a foundation program officer (see blog post Being a Foundation Program Officer) and E. J. share excerpts from his new book, “The Conversation: Candid Perspectives and Advice on Fundraising Shared by Donor and Nonprofits.”

E. J. Jacobs, Program Director, The Nduna Foundation
Vuyiswa Sidzumo, Program Officer, Ford Foundation

The Impact of U.S. Immigration Policy on African Communities

 In 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) dropped the term, “nation of immigrants,” from its mission statement. This and other changes to immigration policy affect the lives of Africans here and abroad. In this session, Amaha Kassa looks at how African Communities Together (ACT) is working on the local, state, national, and international level to advance immigration reform, create more jobs in African communities, and increase language access.
Moderator:  E. J. Jacobs, Program Director, Nduna Foundation
Speaker:  Amaha Kassa, Executive Director, African Communities Togethe
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Nuances of Diaspora Giving: Culture, Responsibility, and Philanthropy

 IBM executive and philanthropist Evaristus Mainsah shares his perspective on the nuances of supporting the extended family and local community, the connection between personal generosity and philanthropic trends, and the disconnect between donor communities. A member of the King Baudouin Foundation US board, Mainsah supports the arts in his Westchester County community and scholarships in Cameroon through the Rosemary Yenge Ndi Educational Trust.
Moderator: Hafeeza E. Rashed,  Senior Advisor, King Baudouin FoundationUS
Speaker:  Evaristus Mainsah, General Manager, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services

Mobilizing Philanthropy in Support of Social Justice

Based in South Africa, the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) mobilizes philanthropy to support social justice organizations by connecting donors with social justice projects. SJI manages the Integrity Fund set up by Business Leadership South Africa to support civil society initiatives to promote good business practice in the private and public sectors. In this session, Bongiwe Mlangeni talks about donor giving in South Africa and SJI’s work to promote giving and manage expectations between donors and their beneficiaries.
Moderator: Kimberly Middleton, Advisor, Tides
Speaker: Bongiwe Mlangeni, Chief Executive Officer, Social Justice Initiative

The Dynamics, Tensions, and Potential of Philanthropy in Africa

African foundations and social entrepreneurs are increasing their influence in Africa, where their US counterparts have been joined by their counterparts in African countries resulting in a broader and more diverse philanthropic landscape. In this session, Tendai Murisa shares new research on the dynamics of American funding in Africa and African philanthropy, and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, co-founder of the HigherLife Foundation, shares how philanthropists in Africa are making an impact and giving back to their communities through the African Philanthropy Forum.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-Founder, HigherLife Foundation 
Dr. Tendai Murisa, Executive Director, SIVIO Institute 

Liberia After Ebola: Supporting Community Resilience

The primary disrupters of the spread of Ebola in West Africa were the community leaders, health care workers, and citizens on the front lines. Largely overlooked by the media, they continue to address the residual impact of Ebola on the communities they serve. In this session, Pierre Hauser (Disney Hauser Philanthropies) shares how he uses his philanthropy and his photography to highlight the important work of community organizations and Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah, the Liberian Principal Investigator of a five-year study of the world’s largest cohort of Ebola survivors, share his research.
Moderator:  Yvonne Moore, Moore Philanthropy
Speakers: Pierre Hauser, Co-Founder, Daphne Foundation

Dr. Mokoka Fallah, Deputy Director for Technical Services, National Public Health Institute, Liberia.

Funding in Conflict-Prone Environments

Supporting communities affected by conflict requires commitment and the courage to fund in the face of weakened infrastructure, political instability, and other far-reaching effects. In this session, Ese Emerhi and Jeanne Elone share lessons from two TrustAfrica projects: the Kiisi Trust to Benefit the Ogoni People in the Niger Delta of Nigeria and the International Criminal Justice Fund, which helps victims of atrocity crimes to seek restitution and justice.
Jeanne Elone, Officer in Charge, TrustAfrica/International Criminal Justice Fund Director
Ese Emerhi, Project Director, TrustAfrica/Kiisi Trust Fund

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs: One Size Does Not Fit All

Women entrepreneurs face unique and varying obstacles. Supporting them requires an understanding of how different factors such as education, age and citizenship can shape their experience. Drawing on insights from a Segal Family Foundation convening in East Africa, two exemplary women social entrepreneurs share how gender and regional power have shaped their experience and advise funders on how they can be better allies. 

Moderator:  Lisa Issroff, Executive Director, Issroff Family Foundation
Speakers: Ash Rogers, Executive Director, Lwala Community Alliance
Monica Nyiraguhabwa, Executive Director Girl UP Initiative

Local Communities Driving Change

In an effort to define the role of community-based organizations in driving change, the Firelight Foundation conducted an analysis of its partners in Southern and Eastern Africa. In this session, Nina Blackwell shares key insights followed by a group discussion on building an adaptable approach to measuring Firelight’s impact and progress in support of its grantee partners.
Nina Blackwell, Executive Director, Firelight Foundation
Sadaf Shallwani, Director of Learning and Evaluation, Firelight Foundation 

Funding Rights-Based Approaches to Mental Health

Less than 1% of health funding goes to mental health. In this campfire session, Faraaz Mahomed and Mamka Anyona share the results from the Open Society Foundation’s Mental Health and Rights Project to identify trends in funding for mental health support services and advocacy in East and West Africa. Participants are invited to share how mental health issues relate to their grantmaking and explore the reasons for its marginalization.
Mamka Anyona, Program Specialist, Open Society Foundations
Faraaz Mahomed, Researcher, Mental Health and Rights Project Open Society Foundations

Advancing Business Journalism in Africa

Access to accurate and timely news is important to understanding the growth and development of financial and business markets across Africa. Good journalism is critical to providing and interpreting information about the events that are affecting markets and driving growth. In this session, Erana Stennett looks at how Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa is supporting business journalism across the continent, including partnerships with universities in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Moderator: Andrea Johnson, Program Officer, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Speaker: Erana M. Stennett, Director, Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa

Protesting the Status Quo, Shaping Global Change: Africa’s Next Generation

United Nations data shows that the ten countries with the world’s youngest populations are located in Africa. This young population is a major asset to the continent. In this session, Dr. Alcinda Honwana and Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire present the African youth experience as part of a global movement for social change and explore how philanthropy can engage with and learn from young people to inform the strategies that funders employ for change.

Moderator: Nyleti Honwana, Program Officer, H. F. Guggenheim Foundation
Speakers: 
Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, Co-founder, Centre for African Cultural Excellence, Uganda
Dr. Alcinda Honwana, Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development Policy, United Nations